RAW: OzAsia – Four Winds – 4K

As the name of this festival suggests but which is often overlooked, the OzAsia Festival is as much about Australian – Asian collaboration as it is about Australian audiences being exposed to Asian culture. Four Winds is a masterstroke of such a collaboration and influences.

Steve Falk and Andy Bevan are both Australians living in Japan, absorbing and contributing to music there; Falk on marimba and percussion and Bevan on wind instruments of all kinds. Slava Grigoryan is well known as a wizard on guitar. For Four Winds, these three Australians are joined by Shonosuke Okura a master solo Otsuzumi player, playing with use of his bare hands, in the first half in a white kimono and the second in the all black.

The music, mostly written by Falk and Bevan, and complimented by Nobuyuki Kobayashi’s photography of the elements of nature of earth, wind, water and wood, was soothing and enchanting, just shy of spiritual. The blending of pieces with clear roots either side of the equator – for example Falk’s Great Ocean Road and Shonosuke’s suite of traditional Japanese melodies – was a great success, with those few moments when Shonosuke’s throaty chanting blended with Bevan’s didjeridoo highlights. The rollicking finale, Power Sound brought a wonderful show together.

In all of this Bevan was somewhat the star displaying phenomenal dexterity on all manner of wind instruments (and some percussion) leaving (if this is possible) Grigoryan somewhat in his shadow (though by no means forgotten as his solo, Distance, was memorable.)

A quality start to the 2011 OzAsia Festival.

Kryztoff Rating   4K

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